How To Treat Rectal Colon Cancer
Looking for information on how to treat rectal colon cancer? There are several treatment options that are available for rectal colon cancer. You will need to have a discussion with your doctor to decide which course of treatment is best for the rectal colon cancer that you have. In many cases, if you are being treated for rectal colon cancer, you will have a team of doctors involved with your care that includes a surgeon, gastroenterologist, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist. Below you will find information about the various treatment options that are available for rectal colon cancer.
To treat rectal colon cancer, you will need to:
- Visit a doctor
- Decide on a treatment plan
- Surgery. Surgery is generally used to treat metastatic or recurrent rectal colon cancer. The type of surgery that you have depends on the stage of rectal colon cancer that you have. Surgeries that can be used to treat rectal colon cancer include a bowel resection, liver resection, and/or cryosurgery.
- Chemotherapy. If you have an advanced stage of rectal colon cancer that has spread to different parts of your body, your doctor may recommend primary chemotherapy because surgery isn't an option. If you have had rectal colon cancer surgery, you may need to undergo adjuvant chemotherapy, which is used to kill cancer cells that might have been missed during the surgery. If you have a large tumor, your doctor may recommend that you undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy before your rectal colon cancer surgery to reduce the size of the tumor.
- Radiation. Instead of having surgery to treat your rectal colon cancer, your doctor might recommend radiation therapy. There are two types of radiation therapy. With brachytherapy, radioactive material is either inserted into your tumor or near your tumor. With external radiation therapy, a doctor will beam radiation directly at your tumor.
- Biological Therapy. Biological therapy is new, so many biological therapy treatments are still in clinical trials. With biological therapy, your immune system will be used to fight your rectal colon cancer. Types of available biological therapy include biological response modifiers, colony-stimulating factors, tumor vaccines, and monoclonal antibodies.
Tip: If you have been diagnosed with rectal colon cancer, you should visit at least two different doctors so that you can get differing opinions on which treatment is the best for your cancer.